Well, I got a first ride in on the Haro mary Thursday at the expense of getting totally muddy and wet. I knew the conditions dictated that the Karate Monkey with the Planet Bike fenders was the way to go, but I just didn't want to wait any more. Oh well!
There are so many new and old things on this bike, it's hard to start with a description. Some of it was like "old friends", and other things were excitingly fresh.
The drive train is mostly old school with the exception of the front derailluer. Rapid Fire XTR works. Period. It shifted great, even under power. The drive train was dead silent. Sweet! Just like I remembered it to be. The front rings picked up and dropped the chain super fast. The SRAM X-Gen derailluer is super, but it doesn't clear the tire in the granny gear, so I dialed that gear out until I can find a better solution. I may modify the cage, but that's a last resort.
The rest of the bike is all new stuff to me, with the exception of the fork and grips. I love the ride so far. The Switchblade fork works well with this one. It dumped the front end height down just a bit, so I think it's a tad bit steeper than 73 degrees in the head angle. (My guage wouldn't stop bouncing. Too much caffiene!) The rear end is rock solid laterally and has a nice feel in the rough stuff. The tires should be super fast on hard pack, at least according to what I rode Thursday. Mud won't be their friend, that's for sure! The Bontrager wheels just went around and were really a non issue. The only thing I can say is that they are super quiet. I can't hear the free hub pawls at all! A good "sneak up on ya" wheel.
Anyway, it'll be awhile before I get to ride Mary again. Lots of snow forecast for later today and tomorrow. Looks like a couple more XC ski sessions yet before any more biking will get done!